Cultural Bulletin
Cultural Bulletin is a quarterly magazine that provides an international view of creative work. We look to film, music, design and art as signifiers of our cultural moment.
WATCH: VARIATIONS ON A SCENE - Davide Rapp
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Davide Rapp (1980) is a videoartist and architect.

Here, he studies a scene from Kill, Baby, Kill (or Operazione paura, in its native Itaian) - a 1966 Italian horror film directed by Mario Bava and starring Giacomo Rossi-Stuart and Erika Blanc. Saturated in gothic dreaminess, the film sees a bright doctor investigating the death of a woman in a small Carpathian village. Towards the end of the film, a surrealist sequence wreaks havoc with spatial and temporal recognition. The lead actor chases a man through an endless series of octagonal rooms lined with red curtains.

Mario Bava combines colours, composition and smart visual tricks in order to create a warped sense of time and space. The repetition of the same room is both mesmerizing and disorienting and suggests countless imaginary architectures to be experimented.

The video essay was made for NECSUS: European Journal of Media Studies (2018).

FilmTom SilverComment
In Review: Nate Young – Volume One: Dilemmas of Identity 
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Label: Lower Floor

The atonal nature of discordant electronics, lonely sounds and damage are increasingly serving as symbols for an emerging reality. Whether it is wandering around the supermarket or the post-apocalypse, there is a prevailing feeling that these places aren’t worlds away from each other. We will run out of resources, technology will enslave us, we’ll discover that we are actually software, Brexit, so on and so forth...

Instrumental music is a long established conductor of narrative form. Be it an orchestral movement or ambient sprawl, we are able to subjectively detect an emotional contingent within a piece of music and extract a story from it. The narrative can be as straightforward or as abstract as the listener feels compelled to imagine; a series of still landscapes, the arc of a globe over time or something as sedentary as a caretaker cleaning an old building at night. More dystopian stories, like Dilemmas of Identity, are monochromatic in their cynicism – a negative perspective opting instead, to convey the vividness and complexities of exactly how things might fall apart for the entirety of civilisation as we know it. 

Dilemmas of Identity presents us with a series of bleak scenarios for humanity. In fact, the song titles are the most organic aspects of the music – they provide an initial human image that is then set in opposition to an artificial counterpoint. It is not a stretch to extract a narrative from such song titles as ‘The Weeping Babe’, ‘Crumpled Body’, ‘Dribbling Insane’, ‘Flushing’ and ‘Pardon The Mess’ which already paint a picture of human suffering. Partnered with the music, it is clear that Dilemmas of Identity represents a total breakdown in the relationship between human and machine. 

This can be read in a number of ways, total breakdown of our systems, hostile A.I or some form of weaponry disaster. Whatever has occurred in Dilemmas of Identity, one thing for sure is that we are unequivocally fucked. Are these stories still science-fiction? Are we sleepwalking towards the apocalypse? Have we created systems of our own enslavement? Does anyone know where we are going? Is this music an early warning? AG

ART: MARTIN KIPPENBERGER
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Few artists have managed and consider their entire output like Martin Kippenberger. Although not formally recognised as a graphic designer, a legacy of Kippenberger are his brilliant posters that he produced for exhibitions. 

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Design, ArtAdam GreenhalghComment
CINEMATOGRAPHY: John Alcott
 
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John Alcott was an English cinematographer best known for his four collaborations with director Stanley Kubrick. He shot  2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), A Clockwork Orange (1971), Barry Lyndon (1975), the film for which he won his Oscar and The Shining (1980).

Alcott died from a heart attack in Cannes, France in July 1986; he was 55.

In Duncan Petrie's The British Cinematographer (BFI, 1996), he outlines the work and achievements of Alcott. Enjoy Petrie’s short and accessible biography of Alcott here.

Barry Lyndon  (1975)

Barry Lyndon (1975)

Barry Lyndon  (1975)

Barry Lyndon (1975)

Barry Lyndon  (1975)

Barry Lyndon (1975)

Barry Lyndon  (1975)

Barry Lyndon (1975)

A Clockwork Orange  (1971)

A Clockwork Orange (1971)

A Clockwork Orange  (1971)

A Clockwork Orange (1971)

The Shining  (1980)

The Shining (1980)

The Shining  (1980)

The Shining (1980)

2001: A Space Odyssey  (1968)

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

2001: A Space Odyssey  (1968)

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

2001: A Space Odyssey  (1968)

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

 
FilmTom SilverComment
EXHIBITION: Martin Parr - Return to Manchester
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Martin Parr is a British documentary photographer, photojournalist and photobook collector. 

His exhibition at Manchester Art Gallery, Return to Manchester, is a wonderfuly astute look at how the people of Manchester have changed over the ast 40 years. The city had a ‘profound effect’ on Parr since hs days studying at Manchester Polytechnic (now Manchester Metropolitan University) from 1970-73.

The space exhibits his photographs from Prestwich Mental Hospital in the early 70s, life during the Thatcher era, the Guardian Cities project in 2008 all the way through to the football matches and Pride events of 2018. All are linked through the working classes and every day life.

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Read more about the exhibition here.

Venue: Manchester Art Gallery
Dates: Friday 16 November 2018–Monday 22 April 2019
Cost: Free

ArtTom SilverComment
PHOTOGRAPHY: Alec Soth
USA. Minneapolis, Minnesota. 2002. Lenny.

USA. Minneapolis, Minnesota. 2002. Lenny.

Alec Soth is a photographer from Minnesota.

Enjoy some photographs from his Sleeping With the Mississippi series below.

USA. Green Island, Iowa. 2002.

USA. Green Island, Iowa. 2002.

USA. Vicksburg, Mississippi. 2002. Bible study book, The Prophet in the Wilderness.

USA. Vicksburg, Mississippi. 2002. Bible study book, The Prophet in the Wilderness.

USA. New Orleans, Louisiana. 2002. Crystal, transgender princess. Easter Sunday.

USA. New Orleans, Louisiana. 2002. Crystal, transgender princess. Easter Sunday.

USA. Venice, Louisiana. 2002.

USA. Venice, Louisiana. 2002.

USA. Green Island, Iowa. 2002. Sacred Heart Hall.

USA. Green Island, Iowa. 2002. Sacred Heart Hall.

USA. Memphis, Tennessee. 2000. William EGGLESTON in his music room.

USA. Memphis, Tennessee. 2000. William EGGLESTON in his music room.

USA. Kenner, Louisiana. 2002. Herman's bed.

USA. Kenner, Louisiana. 2002. Herman's bed.

IN PRINT: Tokyo - Gerry Johansson
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Tokyo is a visual journey through a city at once futuristic and obsolete, its visionary design worn out – like that of a past era. Johanasson uses photography to index the city, finding form and pragmatic order through accumulation and sequence, revealing the city's hidden, modular logic: lego-like segments, a basic square unit repeated indefinitely and in various sizes. These images are unpeopled, showing only the architecture of the city, a container of 13 million people, organised around mass movement and the funnelling of human traffic. Between the concrete, glass and steel, the occasional green life sprouts – miniature gardens in the narrow alleyways, or a cluster of flower pots lining the sidewalk. The architecture creates its own topography, and the city is glimpsed as the last outpost of a fading, mechanised world.

Words taken from Twelvebooks.

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BooksTom SilverComment
WATCH: Malick // Fire and Water - Kogonada
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Kogonada is a director and video essayist. Here, he looks at the role of fire and water in the works of Terrence Malick. Kogonada’s ability to compare and contrast themes without words is the reason he stands above most other video essayists and is the reason it comes Highly Recommended.

Enjoy the video below.

Of all the recurring signatures of Malick, his use of fire and water might be the most telling, in part because there’s a significant shift between early Malick (Badlands & Days of Heaven) and later Malick (The Thin Red Line, The New World, The Tree of Life & To the Wonder). Early Malick favors fire. Later Malick favors water. In To the Wonder, Malick forgoes fire altogether for the first time in his career. Water reigns.

Music: River by Alexandre Desplat

 
CINEMATOGRAPHY: Tonino Delli Colli

Tonino Delli Colli was an Italian cinematographer.

Once Upon a Time in America  (1984)

Once Upon a Time in America (1984)

He worked with an astounding number of revered directors, including Pier Paolo Pasolini, Federico Fellini, Roman Polanski, Jean-Jacques Annaud, Claude Chabrol and, most notably, Sergio Leone. 

He died in 2005 aged 81.

Enjoy some stills from his work below.

Life Is Beautiful  (1997)

Life Is Beautiful (1997)

Life Is Beautiful  (1997)

Life Is Beautiful (1997)

Life Is Beautiful  (1997)

Life Is Beautiful (1997)

Life Is Beautiful  (1997)

Life Is Beautiful (1997)

Once Upon A Time In The West  (1968)

Once Upon A Time In The West (1968)

The Voice of the Moon  (1990)

The Voice of the Moon (1990)

Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom  (1975)

Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom (1975)

Once Upon A Time In The West  (1968)

Once Upon A Time In The West (1968)

The Voice of the Moon  (1990)

The Voice of the Moon (1990)

Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom  (1975)

Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom (1975)

FilmTom SilverComment
IN PRINT: ANDERS EDSTRÖM - Loops
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Antenne Publishing presents its second publication in the ESTATE OF series, a publication that offers artists a space to realise projects in a specified format.

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Loops is Anders Edström’s narrative chronology, from front to back covers. Shot during walks driving, during his travels, always looking, noticing, then stopping when the light and circumstance synthesize for him. He doesn’t look for the spectacular or unusual, but rather for the preternatural union of light and circumstance. For this reason, they may seem mundane, but each is a statement about this union of light, time, and energy.

Interspersed are reflective paint puddles, which he poured at home, getting the light to work for him. Each is a study in “light, form, and texture” — to use E.H. Gombrich’s words from his essay on
15th century paintings north and south of the Alps.

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In Loops, they are the creative investigations during this chronology. In Vladimir Nabokov’s Bend Sinister, the novel before writing Lolita, one of his tropes was a puddle, which his main character, Adam Krug, first notices gazing out a window, a recent widower. Puddles distort reflections in reverse, like a “bend sinister,” a heraldic shield with the band going from top left to bottom right instead of the reverse, a bend dexter. The puddle motif reappears as an inkblot, a footprint, an ink stain. Nabokov was a lucky sufferer of synesthesia, the crossing of one sensory modality into another, with words revealing different meanings. He played with language as sound and image, “caressing” details, as he called it, looking for the unnoticed, infusing his stories with undercurrents of his special intuition.

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Anders Edström was first discovered by the fashion industry, and first by Martin Margiela, who changed the look of fashion by being unspectacular, for example, simply covering boots, jeans, and backpacks in white gesso. Like Margiela, Anders Edström has always avoided the transcendent, spectacular, or highly stylized in preference for unaffected naturalism, but also for an alternative enlightenment in his synesthetic photography. Loops is a time capsule of his research.

- Jeff Rian

    Published by Antenne Publishing, 136 pgs, 21 × 28 cm, Softcover, Colour Offset, 2019, 9781908806062

BUY FROM ANTENNE BOOKS HERE

BooksPlato's HouseComment
MUSIC: Heile Martens - Lips & Un Canto Della Tonnara
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Label: Edicoes CN

Roman Hiele and Lievens Martens Moana as Heile Martens released Lips & Un Canto Della Tonnara in May (2018). The record continues Martens curious process of abstraction, space building and deconstruction meaning that this record sits comfortably next to 2017’s Idylls or Dolphins Into The Future’s Songs of Gold, Incandescent.

BUY THE RECORD HERE

MusicAdam GreenhalghComment
IN PRINT: Critical Mass
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Published by FOREIGN POLICY, Critical Mass is an ongoing series that explores a brand’s ripple effect across the globe — from patterns in consumer spending to environmental affects. Packaged in a handy format, it combines quality cultural writing with intelligent design to showcase how a brand’s living legacies extend beyond mere aesthetics and profit margins, particularly in the ever-changing face of global consumerism. 

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Publisher Info —
FOREIGN POLICY is a design bureau and think-tank based in Singapore. Story-telling and experience-crafting are at the heart of what we do. 

BooksAdam GreenhalghComment
MUSIC: Various Artists - Stilleben 052
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Label: Stilleben

Gothenburg’s Stilleben Records release Stilleben 052 – a 4 track EP featuring 4 different artists. Highlight, MACHO MACHO’s ‘EARGOGGLE OBERGMAN’ is emblematic of a distinct analogue, synth driven euro-techno that runs across the record.

MusicPlato's HouseComment
IN PRINT: THE MOTH - Jem Southam
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The Moth derives from one black-and-white picture that Jem Southam made in about 1983: a solitary man standing on Gwithian beach in St Ives, Cornwall. From this singular, meditative moment, the book of otherwise unpeopled, colour photographs unravels like a succession of memories, drifting back and forth through time. Over the course of 30 years, Southam intermittently returned to the west of Cornwall to explore a place steeped in marine and mining history, and in the mythology of Celtic saints who exiled to Cornish shores. His poetic sequence of images, inspired by the alliterative verse of the old English poems The Wanderer and The Seafarer, moves from vistas of meadows to water streams, forgotten homes and farm dogs awaiting their food. Now and then, Southam’s fluctuating current of pictures is punctuated by a sublime moment in the rural landscape, only to be eclipsed by the hazy memory of The Moth.

MUSIC: Svitlana Nianio - Kytytsi
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Label: KOKA

Svitlana Nianio made her debut with Kyiv's Tsukor Bila Smert. Kytytsi is Svitlana's very first solo album. The aura of her voice and simplicity of her compositions suggest folk roots. 
However, its base is in fact derived from musical avant-garde of today. Straight from the heart of ancient folk songs comes the tenderness in her voice; Svitlana frames it with sounds of pure New York minimal tradition. Deeply rooted in primeval myths, her music creates a world of magic realism, in which the temporal dimension and the other world constantly move and permeate. 

BUY THE RECORD HERE

MusicPlato's HouseComment